A national survey of 1100 physicians, conducted by HCD Research and the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, found that seventy-four percent (74%) of doctors believe that miracles have occurred in the past and seventy-three percent (73%) believe that they still occur today (1).
The poll also indicated that American physicians are surprisingly religious, with seventy-two percent (72%) indicating they believe that religion provides a reliable and necessary guide to life. Dr. Alan Mittleman, Director of The Finkelstein Institute, says that,
“The picture that emerges is one where doctors, although presumably more highly educated than their average patient, are not necessarily more secular or radically different in religious outlook than the public.”
Also surprising is that a majority of doctors, fifty-five percent (55%), said that they have seen treatment results in their patients that they would consider miraculous (45% do not). Thus, of the 1100 physicians examined, 605 claimed to have witnessed a medical miracle. Most physicians (51%) pray for their patients as a group. Even more, fifty-nine (59%) pray for individual patients.
Referring to a personal anecdote, a personal GP, who is not particularly religious in any way, on one occasion booked an elderly patient in for a back operation to rectify a dislodged spinal disc. A few days before the operation, in which this GP was operating as an assistant, the woman returned to her practice claiming that her back had healed after her family had prayed for her. Scans of her back confirmed this full recovery and the operation was canceled. According to the GP, “some things are not scientifically explainable.”
- “Science or Miracle,” summarizing results of a survey by HCD Research and the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary; Keener, Craig. 2015. “Miracle Reports and the Argument from Analogy.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 25(4):475-495.